After several hours of staring at the canoe. I might have come across the main cause of my problem. I put a level to the stantions and the stem forms. The stem forms are both about 3/8" higher than the stantions. Should I modify (cut them down and reshape them) at this point. I think if I can resape them I can get the strips to bend to the new shape and plane & sand the transition of the strips. Thanx again for all the input and suggestions.